P.M. Donald MacLeod MBE Memorial Competition secures five-year sponsorship deal

Pictured are, from left to right, Lewis and Harris Piping Society chair Dr John Smith, Piping Society piping secretary Finlay Macleod and Point and Sandwick Trust chair Norman Mackenzie. Picture by Sandie Maciver of SandiePhotos

The Pipe Major Donald MacLeod MBE Memorial Competition, being held in Stornoway’s Caladh Hotel tomorrow, Friday, April 5, will be available to watch live from http://www.piobdm.com/. Event organisers, the Lewis and Harris Piping Society, have secured a sponsorship deal worth £25,000 over the next five years from The Point and Sandwick Trust which means that the event can remain in Stornoway and also allow the competition to be broadcast worldwide.

The Point and Sandwick Trust is a charitable organisation that funds and supports development of community projects in its villages on the Isle of Lewis, and the wider Western Isles. Funding managed by the Trust is gifted entirely from the profit created by ownership and operation of the Beinn Ghrideag community wind farm. More information about the Trust can be found at http://www.pointandsandwick.co.uk

The 2019 event will be the 26th year of the competition, which commemorates the musical legacy of Donald MacLeod – a famous player and composer who came from Stornoway. The Lewis and Harris Piping Society had feared the competition would have to be moved to the mainland to cut costs, until Point and Sandwick Trust stepped in with the sponsorship to secure it in its home town.

The web address for the live stream will be www.piobdm.com – and afterwards, the coverage will be made publicly available on the e-Storas website.

This year’s competition will also see a programme of workshops taking place the day after the competition (April 6), with three of the competing pipers giving lessons to the youngsters of the Lewis and Harris Youth Pipe Band and adults of the Lewis Pipe Band while they are in town.

The Donald MacLeod is an invitational competition, with eight of the current best pipers in the world invited to take part based on their success in various competitions over the past year. This year’s competitors are Willie McCallum, Roddy MacLeod MBE, Callum Beaumont, Stuart Liddell, Glenn Brown, Finlay Johnston, Iain Speirs and Dr Peter McCalister – with Roddy MacLeod, Callum Beaumont and Stuart Liddell delivering the workshops on the Saturday.

The competition celebrates the music of Donald Macleod and is split into two sections – the Cèol Mòr (piobaireachd) and the Cèol Beag (March, Strathspey and Reel, and Hornpipe and Jig).

Norman Mackenzie, Chair of Point and Sandwick Trust, added: “Where else would the Donald MacLeod Memorial trophy be held but in Stornoway? We’re really proud that we’re in a position to ensure that it’s held in Stornoway and I think live streaming is an exciting development that will bring it to a wider audience. It can only be positive.”

The event begins at 10.15am. Entry is £15 and under-18s go free. A ceilidh is held on the Friday night, with tickets priced £5 and doors opening at 9pm.